Highest-Rated Things to Do in Virginia, According to Tripadvisor

When planning your next holiday, your mind might wander to exotic destinations like Tokyo or Paris. However, there are incredible experiences right here in Virginia that can rival those international hotspots and make you reconsider your travel plans.

Virginia is a state rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. It offers a variety of top-rated attractions that cater to diverse interests and age groups. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Virginia has something to offer.

Architectural Marvels and Scenic Views

One of the must-see architectural wonders in Virginia is the Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers guided tours that delve into Jefferson’s life and legacy, as well as the history of the enslaved people who lived and worked there.

The meticulously maintained gardens and stunning views of the surrounding countryside make Monticello a memorable visit. For those who appreciate natural beauty, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect destination.

Known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” this scenic highway stretches 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, and picnic spots. Each turn reveals new wonders, from cascading waterfalls to panoramic mountain views.

Historical Museums and Unique Sights

Virginia’s rich history is showcased in its numerous museums. The Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum where visitors can step back in time to the 18th century. With costumed interpreters, historic buildings, and interactive exhibits, it’s an immersive experience that brings history to life.

Another must-visit is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It houses an impressive collection of art spanning 5,000 years, including works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. The museum’s sculpture garden and special exhibitions provide a continuously enriching experience for visitors.

Family-Friendly Attractions

For families, Virginia offers attractions that are both educational and entertaining. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is a hit with kids and adults alike. It features over 800,000 gallons of aquariums, interactive exhibits, and an outdoor adventure park with zip lines and a nature trail.

Another family favorite is Busch Gardens Williamsburg, an action-packed theme park that combines thrilling rides, live entertainment, and beautifully landscaped European-themed areas. It’s a place where both children and adults can find joy and excitement.

Outdoor Adventures

If you’re seeking adventure, Shenandoah National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 200,000 acres of protected lands, the park offers endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. The Skyline Drive, which runs the length of the park, provides spectacular views and access to many trailheads.

For a unique outdoor experience, consider visiting the Natural Bridge. This natural limestone arch, standing 215 feet high, has been a popular tourist attraction for centuries. The surrounding park includes hiking trails, a Monacan Indian living history exhibit, and beautiful landscapes that make for a great day trip.

Cultural and Culinary Delights

Virginia’s cultural scene is vibrant and diverse. The town of Charlottesville is home to a thriving arts community, numerous galleries, and the renowned Virginia Film Festival. Music lovers should not miss the opportunity to attend a performance at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, which hosts a variety of musical genres in a stunning outdoor setting.

Virginia is also known for its culinary offerings, particularly its seafood. The Chesapeake Bay area is famous for its oysters, crabs, and fish. Dining at one of the many waterfront restaurants is a delightful way to sample the local cuisine while enjoying beautiful views.


Stacker compiled this list of the highest-rated things to do in Virginia using data from Tripadvisor, based on overall ratings, reviews, and page views as of June 3, 2024. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, Virginia’s diverse attractions ensure that there’s something for everyone.

From historical sites and museums to natural wonders and family-friendly attractions, Virginia offers a wealth of experiences that can make any trip unforgettable. So before you book that flight overseas, consider exploring the treasures that Virginia has to offer right in your backyard.

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